Following the news of a female crossover in UFC this week, the championship has now released plans to create interest in “the Asian Market” thanks to an agreement with MNC Media in Jakarta. The news means that MNC Sports will show UFC to one of the World’s most populated areas. However, arguably the biggest part of the deal is that a Fighter Development Program will be established to help create future fighters for MMA across the globe.
“We’re delighted to partner on these initiatives with MNC Media, by far Indonesia’s No. 1 integrated media group, and very excited about growth prospects here… Our partnership with MNC Media will bring our wide range of UFC programming to tens of millions of potential new UFC fans throughout Indonesia, while also developing our sport in this vast market.” - Mark Fischer, managing director of UFC Asia.
The announcement comes a massive boost for the sport, as it could be beginning of a major growth. Sports such as Soccer have benefited astronomically due to Asian interest and have developed huge fan bases – which has proved one of the largest revenue streams for competitions such as the English Premier League.
If UFC can capture a fraction of that interest in a Indonesia then the sport will be on the way to better things. The introduction of more overseas fighters will expand the sport and enable wider competition plus exposure.
For current Indonesian MMA fans, the new market can now expect higher quality fighting than they are used to, and a new depth to their television viewing.
Lala Hamid, a member of the MNC Group said “ We are confident that through this excellent partnership, UFC will become a favored program among all Indonesian mixed martial arts fans, and eventually all sports fans.”
This may seem rather uneventful just now, but it could be a major stepping stone in the sport’s global recognition.
By Stowe Gregory @stowegregory